The Philadelphia Phillies announced this afternoon that after 69-year-old manager Charlie Manuel led them to a 780-636 record, two pennants and one World Series Championship in nine seasons, they'd decided to replace the veteran manager on the bench with third base coach Ryne Sandberg, effective immediately.
As reported by Philadelphia Daily News writer Ryan Lawrence, Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro told reporters in a press conference announcing the decision to name Sandberg "Interim" manager, that the outgoing skipper understood the decision:
"'I think Charlie understands the decision, and that fact that we were making a managerial change, that it was in the best interest of the future of the organization.'"
Manuel was adamant, as quoted in the report, that, as he said, "I didn’t resign and I did not quit." He was offered another role within the organization, but said he would take time to make a decision on his future.
The Phillies' decision, of course, led to inevitable rumblings amongst Nationals fans about what the Nats should do with 70-year-old skipper Davey Johnson going forward. Washington GM Mike Rizzo assured reporters when the question came up last month that there was, "... no chance that [Johnson] won't be the manager until the end of the season."
Johnson, however, told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore in an article this week that, "... if the Nationals do not improve in the next month and they believe it would be in their best interest to proceed without him, he would accept it.":
"'I never wanted to ever get terminated before,' Johnson said. 'But if there’s a couple guys in-house and they want to see how they run a club, if these guys don’t respond and start doing the things I know we’re capable of doing, I don’t have a problem."'
Johnson, who is expected to help the Nationals choose their next manager, explained last month that he thought ideally, a team should promote managers from within the organization. "The ideal is to manage in your system, so you know the talent in your system.' And that's the criteria," Johnson said. So if the Nationals did plan on promoting from within with someone like Randy Knorr, would it make sense to do so this season?
Bo Porter, was likely once considered a potential future manager, but he signed on to become the Astros' skipper this season, and he told MLB Network Radio this morning that he's committed to the Houston organization in spite of his connection to the franchise in the nation's capital:
Bo Porter on Nationals:"Mike Rizzo is a great friend of mine, I had a great 2 years there, I am completely committed to Astros organization"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) August 16, 2013
Should the Nationals make the move now if they plan on promoting from within? Or does Davey Johnson finish out the season and move on after that? Sounds like a poll question... Vote Below...
• Here's tonight's lineup for the first game of three in Turner Field with the Braves:
Davey's Lineup, Fri. @ ATL/G121: Span cf, Zimmerman 3b, Harper lf, Werth rf, Desmond ss, LaRoche 1b, Ramos c, Rendon 2b, Jordan rhp.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 16, 2013